Today has been a day for thinking about travel. These are altered photos from old - say 1950 - National Geographic magazines. I was at my favorite consignment place, down in the basement, looking for old articles about Peru, and I found these. I've been thinking all sort of Peru thoughts, checking the weather for Peru (warm by the coast, cool and wet in the Andes), reading books by Peruvian authors (Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa), watching movies that feature Peru (The Motorcycle Diaries, The Dancer Upstairs), listening to Peruvian music on my Pandora radio station. I bought new insoles for my hiking boots, and new batteries for my camera. The neighbor will bring in the mail and care for the cat, and all should be well.
I always take a sketchbook along, although over and over the same thing happens. I never have time to draw except in the airport and on the plane. I have many sketches of people reading, sleeping, or the backs of their heads. I have sketches of backpacks and luggage. But I never have cool sketches of churches, monuments, or landscapes. It just doesn't happen. This time we're on an escorted tour, so we'll be part of a group of two dozen, so I don't see me sitting anywhere long, except in transit. Still, I'll take my Moleskine, pens, and a gluestick. I'll end up drawing from snapshots - again.
I thought today I'd go down to the local Red Cross and give blood. On their one-day drives a local pizza joint furnishes free slices of pizza, and these short events never draw many people. I made it through the required reading, passed the blood pressure and blood drop tests, and then admitted I had spent three days at Thanksgiving at a resort in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. I swear, all I ever did was lounge by the pool, walk on the beach and sip pina coladas, but the nurse wrinkled her brow and scurried off to confer with her supervisor, who came over and went through an official data base. Too bad, so sad. I am deferred from donating until December 2009, a year after my return from our warm Thanksgiving, because the area is a malaria risk. I ate a slice pizza and came home. We'll see what they say about Peru.